In the news today: Oil Tanker Insurance Costs to Jump After Gulf Attacks, Low business confidence persists, South Africa regulator trades blows with public protector and what is the value proposition of machine learning?

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Oil Tanker Insurance Costs to Jump After Gulf Attacks

The cost of insuring tankers to ship Middle East crude will increase after a second spate of attacks on vessels in the region in just over a month. Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, just 32 days after four other carriers were targeted nearby. The region was designated as a listed area after those incidents, a classification that gives underwriters room to charge more. READ MORE

Low business confidence persists

The RMB/BER Business Confidence Index (BCI) flatlined at a worryingly low 28 in the second quarter. More than seven out of ten respondents therefore remained unsatisfied with current business conditions. The last time sentiment was this gloomy was two years ago, and before that, during the global financial-crisis-induced 2009 recession.  READ MORE

South Africa regulator trades blows with public protector

A report titled ‘Allegations of maladministration, abuse of power and improper conduct by the former executive officer at the Financial Services Board’ has kicked off a legal spat between the South African watchdog and the country’s public protector. The accusations date back to the six years following 2005 and are aimed at Dube Tshidi, who was chief of the FSB, which became the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) on 1 April 2018. The report centres on the administration of 10 pension funds that had been hit by fraudulent activities. READ MORE

What is the value proposition of machine learning?

Machine learning is transforming the way consumers interact with the financial services ecosystem. This paradigm shift is been driven by tougher competition and consumers’ preferences for digital solutions. From AI-driven chatbots to sophisticated wealth robo-advisers, applications have the potential to disrupt incumbents beyond recognition and level the playing field.  READ MORE

FTC: DealerBuilt Hack Affected 130 Dealerships

The Federal Trade Commission announced it has reached a consent agreement with LightYear Dealer Technologies, better known to the U.S. auto retail industry as DealerBuilt. The action is related to a 2016 incident in which a hacker accessed the records of about 12.5 million customers who had done business with 130 DealerBuilt dealerships nationwide. READ MORE